Paul Ryan For Veep

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If the average American can’t handle complexity in his or her own life, and only government experts can … then government must direct the average American about how to live his or her life. Freedom becomes a diminishing good.?But there’s a major flaw in this “progressive’” argument, and it’s this. It assumes there must be someone or some few who do have all the knowledge and information. We just have to find, train, and hire them to run the government’s agencies.

Friedrich Hayek called this collectivism’s “fatal conceit.” The idea that a few bureaucrats know what’s best for all of society, or possess more information about human wants and needs than millions of free individuals interacting in a free market is both false and arrogant. It has guided collectivists for two centuries down the road to serfdom — and the road is littered with their wrecked utopias. The plan always fails!

Paul Ryan


All the signs point to Mitt Romney selecting today Paul Ryan for the Gop Vice-Presidential Nominee.  Ryan is the Congressman for the first congressional district of Wisconsin.  I am quite familiar with him as his congressional district encompasses Kenosha where my mother-in-law lives.  My family and I will be traveling up to visit her for a few days today as we do every summer.

Ryan, 42, is a Catholic, married and the father of three kids.  He has been in Congress since 1999.  He is most notable for his proposed budget, the Ryan plan, which passed the House on April 15, 2011.  The bill died in the Senate.

A second version of the Ryan budget was passed this year by the House.  The budget came under attack from liberal Catholics and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, a majority of the bishops appearing to confuse social justice with a welfare state driving us to national bankruptcy.   Ryan responded to his critics with a lecture at Georgetown which is featured in the video at the beginning of the post.

Ryan is a staunch pro-lifer.  Attacked as a follower of Ayn Rand, Ryan responded briskly:

I, like millions of young people in America, read Rand’s novels when I was young. I enjoyed them,” Ryan says. “They spurred an interest in economics, in the Chicago School and Milton Friedman,” a subject he eventually studied as an undergraduate at Miami University in Ohio. “But it’s a big stretch to suggest that a person is therefore an Objectivist.”


“I reject her philosophy,” Ryan says firmly. “It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas,” who believed that man needs divine help in the pursuit of knowledge. “Don’t give me Ayn Rand,” he says.

What does Romney’s pick of Ryan mean?  It means that Romney views the fiscal iceberg that the nation is facing is our most serious problem and he intends to do something about it.  This is in contrast to Obama who believes that the only fiscal problem we truly have is that government does not spend enough.  This choice will turn this election into a crusade for conservatives in general and the Tea Party in particular.  A good pick.

I will be out of internet communication most of the coming week.  (Naturally when a story this big happens!)  Have fun in the comboxes on this one.



More to explorer

Grant on the Civil War

  I have never liked Presidents’ Day.  Why celebrate all presidents when only a select few of them, like Washington and Lincoln, deserve to

PopeWatch: Uncle Ted

 “Yeah, five years. If we had five years, the Lord working through Bergoglio in five years could make the Church over again.”


  1. ….a majority of the bishops appearing to confuse social justice with a welfare state driving us to national bankruptcy.

    Statements like this are why I enjoy this blog so much. It puts into words what most clear headed, reasonable Catholics are thinking. I feel like I am “not alone”. Thank you Donald.

  2. Everything about this election will be a stark contrast and represent a choice.

    Paul Ryan is a serious man who truly represents the best of what we the people have to offer. He attempts to abide by principles of solidarity and subsidiarity.

    His counterpart in Biden is the exact opposite: a frivolous, partisan, bureaucrat who panders to our worst inclinations and fears.

    Game on!

  3. I am Very happy with the idea of Paul Ryan VPOTUS– (Looks Latin doesn’t it)

    And he says “Give me Thomas Aquinas” Yay!

    Now a sprint to the election– would the patron saint of Sprints be Paul?

  4. Since no-one else has mentioned… he’s cute, too. Yes, that’s silly, but it’s really hard to read menace into someone that looks kind of sweet and innocent with a young enthusiasm.

  5. Yes, agreed, Foxfier. It will be so good to see and hear both men, who can smile as opposed to sneer, for a change of pace. Getting tired of fast scrolling. May God bless them for wanting to do what they can do. We so need their presence and work.

  6. Foxfire, my wife pointed put the same thing and then brought up “Hey Girl, It’s Paul Ryan” as proof.

    Scandalous, I say! Scandalous!

    Giving someone a pass because they are attractive! Aweful! Unprecedented! I mean, it is totally different than Sarah P. because, well, because, uh….

  7. I remember going to Kenosha WI during my time at A School at Great Mistakes ( I mean Lakes) Naval Training Center. I was only 19 and the drinking age in WI was still 19 bak in 1985. But I digress

    I have somewhat mixed feelings about Ryan as Mitt’s running mate. It’s not because I don’t like Ryan. I do. I think he’s one of the best things the GOP has going for it. It’s just I think he is so needed in the House as the budget committe chair. And that he would make an excellent Speaker someday as opposed to that spineless jellyfish Boehner.

    But I think a debate between him and Hairplugs Biden will be such a missmatch I’ll almost feel sorry for old Joe.

  8. See Instapundit:

    IOWAHAWK: “Paul Ryan represents Obama’s most horrifying nightmare: math.”

    Related: Paul Ryan needs to use @iowahawkblog’s line: “You know what will end Medicaid as we know it? Medicaid as we know it.”

    Representative Ryan represents Obama’s worst nightmare: the Truth.

  9. Here’s to hoping Ryan is the wind needed to keep the weathervane pointed in the *right* direction. He is a very good pick.

  10. I respect Ryan. The Vice Presidential slot is not a good fit for him and removing him from Congress carries with it a regrettable opportunity cost.

    Romney needed to select someone as prepared to assume the presidency as an understudy is prepared to step into a role. That would mean someone who has been in executive positions before. It also means someone who has been extensively vetted so there are no surprises during the campaign. It means in addition someone whose ambitions are circumscribed (as is common, for example, among the aged). Ryan does not fill the bill.

    There are a dozen or more former cabinet secretaries and federal bureau chiefs of consequence who are a.) Republicans b.) born after 1939 and c.) have held a consequential elective office as well. Some of them (e.g. Christine Todd Whitman) are unsuitable because wrong on non-negotiables. Still, were they all unsuitable or uninterested?

  11. What does Romney’s pick of Ryan mean? ….

    It means that Mitt Romney thinks he can fool Catholics (and others) into believing that he is pro-life. Unfortunately Mitt is, and always has been exactly what he needed to be at any given point in his life that would further his career. His current protestations at being pro-life are only for the purpose of gaining the Republican nomination.

    I have to believe the best, and therefore I will believe that congressman Ryan believes that he can positively impact the direction of a potential Romney administration; unfortunately for Ryan, Romney will lose and it is likely that a potentially monumental political career will be cut short.

  12. Darn it! No more bubble bursting you guys– lets hope and work for the best.
    Sometimes people see what they expect to see, according to their own proclivities or their own sad experience. I think he is an honorable person who has tried on different ideas is sifting them down to what is good. We are All on a journey here. I, for one, am more hopeful today with Paul Ryan on the ticket. I am glad it was not C. Rice and I don’t think Romney is trying to fool Catholics. I think he is trying to be president.

  13. Art says :The Vice Presidential slot is not a good fit for him and removing him from Congress carries with it a regrettable opportunity cost.

    While I tend to agree that Ryan is not a great fit for VP, I am unclear what the opportunity cost is. If Obama is reelected Ryan in Congress will have zero influence or significance regardless of being on the ticket or not. Even if the Dems were somehow to lose in 2016 or 2020, the Ryan plan would be so OBE as to be laughable. Even more to the point, the public would have become like Greeks Italians and Spaniards rioting for more government handouts. On the other hand, if Romney wins, then Ryan will be the one doing the budget formulation with Congress and a handpicked successor would warm his Budget seat. What am I missing??

  14. No committee chair is indispensable. The Speaker’s office holds most of the power. If anything, Ryan has shown us how little one good man can do in Congress over the last two years.

    I’ve seen people saying that a Romney loss would ruin Ryan’s career, or a Romney win would do the same. I don’t believe either. He’s young and not cheating on his cancer-suffering wife, so he can bounce back from a loss. And any high-level exposure is good for a politician. There are a lot of ups and downs in his future. Reagan won his second term when he was 70. Paul Ryan won’t be that age until 2040.

    As for whether or not Romney is going to win, that’s still up in the air. Not because I or someone else isn’t good at predicting, but because there are literally a thousand campaign events before the election, and the public hasn’t made up its mind.

  15. The catholic left and the lying, liberal (in the tank for Obama) so-called media will begin with “Romney will end Medicare as we know it.”

    Their worst enemy: the Truth is that Medicare is self-destructing.

    Keith Hennessy gives a powerful expose of this liberal lie (Again I repeat myself):

    “The irresponsible part isn’t the proposed spending cut, it’s the promise to keep spending growth going without specifying how you’ll pay for it. If President Obama were proposing tax increases to match his future spending growth, then this would be a fair attack. But he is not. More generally, the Obama fiscal path and campaign message rely on the false presumption that everything will be OK if we raise tax increases only on the rich and make small, mostly painless spending cuts. This is incorrect. Whether you support spending cuts, tax increases, or a combination, you need to make big, structural fiscal policy changes to get on a long-term sustainable fiscal path. Our federal government spending path is seriously out of whack and minor adjustments won’t fix it.”

    Of course, that is “Greek” to the stupid liberal liar (I repeated myself twice!) and the execrable, catholic left.

  16. It’s not just the Catholic left, but the holier than thou Catholic right that is attacking the Ryan pick. Lisa Graas is critical of the Ryan pick, because, umm, Ayn Rand and stuff.

    Evidently Ryan’s once having praised Ayn Ran signifies that Paul Ryan wants to eat babies or something.

    The silly season never ends.

    BTW, the Ryan pick does little to move me personally. As I’ve said before, the Vice Presidency is really a nothing position, and the fact of the matter is Mitt Romney is still at the top of the ticket. That being said, Ryan is arguably the most solid all-around conservative on any GOP ticket since Reagan, and I say that as someone who is still a fan of Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin. It’s also possible that Ryan will be slightly more involved in a Romney administration’s policy setting than a typical VP.

  17. Paul Ryan.

    What I like: his view of Catholic social teaching, his firm pro-life convictions, his public confrontation with Obama.

    What I don’t like: his support for the bailouts, neo-con foreign policy (yes blah blah blah there is no such thing as “neo-conservatism” I know save it for another time), support for the Patriot Act.

    What I don’t care in the least about: his one time approval of Ayn Rand, which any honest person, having read what he has had to say for himself, would not hold against him.

    Romney made a wise decision. While I was hoping that he would choose Rand Paul, with whom I agree on almost every issue, Paul Ryan is certainly an acceptable and appreciable choice from my point of view. While I am not quite as enthused as I would have been had he chosen Rand, I am still pleased, and not at all disgusted has I would have been had he chosen someone like Rubio.

  18. Rozin makes a very telling point, when he writes, “Even more to the point, the public would have become like Greeks Italians and Spaniards rioting for more government handouts.”

    As Talleyrand said, “Governing has never been anything other than postponing by a thousand subterfuges the moment when the mob will hang you from the lamp-post, and every act of government is nothing but a way of not losing control of the people.”

  19. “Lisa Graas is critical of the Ryan pick, because, umm, Ayn Rand and stuff.”

    She sometimes posts here so it would be good if she made her argument here. From what I can tell the two biggests arguments are with Ryan’s support for Capitalism. She quotes the CCC which condemns unbridled Capitalism. I hope she is aware of the Church’s support for Capitalism which is regulated and ordered towards the good.

    She also seems to take Ryan’s support for Rand’s individualist philosophy as damning. I do not know much at all about what in particular he supports in this philosophy. If it is that there are no responsibilites apart from the self, then he is wrong. If it is that there are individual persons with rights, wants and desires which are legitimate and are to be fulfilled, then I don’t think he is acting contrary to the Faith.

  20. One thing I’ve noticed in the more mainstream and conservative non-religious press. They’re treating this as a confirmation that Romney is going 100% economic issues in the campaign. I don’t know. It seems to me that Ryan potentially opens up the social front that Romney has been avoiding. Now, Ryan is a Kempite, so every social thing he says is phrased as an economic issue, but if he gets past that a little he can be hitting the administration on a lot of issues other than the budget.

  21. Social good and common justice teaching: ethanol mandate forced by Obama is harming poor by soaring food price. And, it was renewed for farmer votes not to save Mother Erda.

    The catholic left and right have one thing in common. That is minimal familiarity with the facts in the real world.

    Romney/Ryan will not end the welfare state as we know it. The welfare state as we know it will self-destruct and take the USA down, too.

  22. Paul Ryan has been praised for saying, “If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas.”

    I’m all for moderate realists in government, but is the problem with Ayn Rand really her epistemology?

  23. As Talleyrand said, “Governing has never been anything other than postponing by a thousand subterfuges the moment when the mob will hang you from the lamp-post, and every act of government is nothing but a way of not losing control of the people.”

    Stop it.

  24. Tom, as I understand it, Rand held that no speculation about anything but the universe can be made from inside the universe. We’re limited by our senses. Any claim of religion was thus an arbitrary assertion. So it really was her epistemology that disallowed religious faith.

  25. As an escapee of the third world I must warn that one shouldn’t forget how incredibly important it is to not let Mr Obama get a second term. Do not loose sight of that! Sheesh

  26. Thanks, Pinky. There’s a certain amount in what you describe that a Thomist could at least work with, in a seldom deny/always distinguish way — though I expect he’d need to be working with a better thinker (e.g., one less prone to arbitrary assertion) than Rand to get anywhere.

  27. Pinky: “Tom, as I understand it, Rand held that no speculation about anything but the universe can be made from inside the universe. We’re limited by our senses. Any claim of religion was thus an arbitrary assertion. So it really was her epistemology that disallowed religious faith.”

    Faith is a gift from God to which man’s response is called religion. This is why our First Amendment guarantees RELiGIOUS FREEDOM, because government cannot concoct Faith or Faith in God. Only God does, and with the ostracizing of the Person of God there is only DOOM of every stripe.

  28. “Their Creator” created man in original innocence, filled with Justice and all unalienable rights as deserving of the INNOCENT: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. This original innocence is the form of the human body. The newly begotten human being composed of body and soul begins to grow. He has taken on the original sin of mankind, called concupiscence. However, as the sovereign person he is, he has not committed any crime deserving of the death penalty by his inclusion in the human kind.

    Mitt Romney introduced Paul Ryan as “president’ of the United States. When was the last time Obama introduced Biden, a constituent of the president, as “president”? Paul Ryan is truly a constituent of Mitt Romney. Would that Barack Obama considered his constituents: no different than himself. As President, all citizens are constituents of the president, and ought to be considered as such, and may be referred to as “president”. Romney’s mistake exposed Romney’s appreciation for and respect for Ryan as a future constituent, as opposed to Ryan being a chess piece in a political ploy.

    Biden was chosen because the VP’s chair needed to be kept warm. Biden’s only useful purpose is to make Obama look smart, but Barack has not learned to keep his laws off my gonads. My sexual intimacy is not ordained to be governed by or dictated to by the HHS mandate, not by Sebelius, not by Obama…andbiden.

    The HHS mandate claims to proscribe the marital intimacy according to abortificients, and contraception, none of which have been proven safe and/or effective. Would anyone walk across the street with a 12% chance of not getting to the other side? Would anyone walk across the street to catch HIV/aids, herpes, papiloma virus, even the cancer virus? The Affordable Healthcare Act has become the law of the land and if one chooses to live one’s life in purity and privacy, the hhs mandate intrudes into the intimacies of the procreative act by inflicting the cost of the practice of lust on Obama’s constituents. Obama will next decree that consecrated men and women, priests and nuns perform the intimate procreative act since the human conscience is no longer acknowledged in a court of law. Hitler did.

    Obama has assumed the direction of all sexual intimacies. That which he approves, he funds, that which he rejects, Obama opposes. Gonad for gonad, Barack owns us all. Barack has never read the bible where God says”…for you are men sacred to me”, where God calls all men to sanctity.
    Barack keep your laws off my gonads.

  29. “she needs to explain how Ryan “undermines the Bishops on economic issues” ”

    I’d like to know too, so I can encourage him to keep doing it.

    The bishops are not economists. They undermined themselves when they signed off on Alinsky’s program of radical agitation and community organizing to achieve “economic justice” back in the mid-20th century, and will not redeem themselves on economic issues until they extricate the views of that atheistic menace from their social statements.

    Catholics must not be guilted into believing that ideological pronouncements always trump cost-benefit analysis. When people try to push through economic programs that ignore or downplay real costs in the name of idealism, they end up doing far more harm to the common good they claim to be serving. If the proper end of economics truly is the common good, then how economies work must be studied objectively and this knowledge must be fully respected when drafting and implementing any plan. The natural rights of individuals to private property, explicitly recognized and defended in Church teaching, must also be respected.

    This is manifestly not what is taking place among left-wing Catholic social justice agitators, all the way up to the bishop’s conference.

  30. More than fifty new federal agencies are required to implement and regulate Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act. Saving a few tax dollars on contraception will be offset by the millions of tax dollars required to fund the regulatory process of the Healthcare Act, a cost that is normally absorbed by the insurance corporations. It appears that the Healthcare Act is only another means of granting corporate welfare, and having the tax payers pick up the cost, funding insurance corporations on the backs of ordinary citizens.

    The fact of the matter is that Obama does not really care whether you use contraceptives or not, as long as Obama can usurp our fiduciary prerogatives, as though the people do not own our own money, but Obama does.

  31. I am soooo looking forward to the Vice Presidential debates. I’ll wager Slow Joe is not.

    I am happy about the pick but not complacent. The mudslinging in this campaign (with the media joyously aiding and abetting Obama) will sicken every decent person in the country . If Ryan ever failed to return a library book or swiped a piece of penny candy from a mom-and-pop store when he was 10, we’ll hear about it. Oh, and of course, he wants to kill grandma. Since they can’t possibly slander him as being stupid, they’ll go for evil.

    Donald, I hope you and yours enjoy your visit to Badgerland!

  32. Pinky & Tom K

    Kant said the same thing. Now, Kant came from a Lutheran Pietist background, with all Luther’s contempt for human reason and his stark contrast between faith and reason. For him, God and the immortality of the sole were postulates of practical (moral) reason – Otherwise morality made no sense.

    Kant influenced pretty well every philosopher who came after him and his ideas have even filtered down to the philosophically illiterate, in the all-too-familiar and lamentable distinction between “truths of fact” (the province of science) and “truths of value” (knowable only from experience and so purely subjective).

    Rand, I imagine, picked them up out of the rubbish-bin of the then current Logical Positivism – refuted on its own terms by Quine’s “Two Dogmas of Empiricism.”

    All which might be relevant, if Mr Ryan were being considered for a Chair of Philosophy, rather than the Vice-Presidency of the United States

  33. Bonchamps 12 Aug; 6:12PM:


    The bishops’ flawed economics is forgivable. I doubt if Econ 101 was a required course in the seminary.

    What is unforgivable is the failure to condemn liberals’ vicious agendae of class hate and of every intrinsic evil known to man.

  34. Amen T Shaw (well pretty much Amen–unforgivable is along time– how about harder to forgive?)

    also Michael P Seymour Tom and Pinky– just to add to the philosophy, theology, epistemology– think of the intellectual contributions of Luigi Giussani. “The Religious Sense” etc — his work is something I would love to suggest to Paul Ryan

    if you haven’t read him here’s an intro bio:

  35. As a VP pick, Ryan was a shrewd move. It is still a long way to election day, but making a safe, smart pick, is a good sign. The $0.30/gallon jump in gas prices over the last few weeks also hurts the O’s chances. I have also heard a few 2008 O supporters saying they will go Romney this round. While it is anyone’s race, I am a little more optimistic of Romney’s chances.

    The Affordable Healthcare Act is laying the burden of implementation and regulation on the tax payers, 52 new federal regulatory agencies, freeing the insurance corporations from the cost of carrying on business as usual.

    When Hilary Clinton wrote the healthcare bill for Bill Clinton, she owned ten healthcare provider corporations. Clinton also provided for two years in federal prison for any doctor who dared heal a patient not in his quadrant. Needless to say the doctors were against her plan. Since nobody knows what is in Obamacare, there may be two years in federal prison for everybody, and especially for those who speak out against Obamacare.

    Some speculate that the premium for Medicare or Affordable Healthcare, now, $99 for seniors on Social Security will go to $240 per month by 2014. The sky is the limit, since Obama can now take all the money he wants. And people will be reduced to demanding some of our tax dollars back from the government in Washington. D. C.

    The Affordable Healthcare Act is a vehicle for Obama to take all of our social security as premiums, and the law says participants cannot opt out. For seniors, it used to be food or heat, now it will be food or Obama.

    Many senior citizens help their grandchildren and great grandchildren with their social security. So, once again Obama is taking from our future generations.

  37. I was very happy to hear Paul Ryan was on the ticket. No one can explain his budget better than he can. I’ve seen him on with Raymond Arroyo and he makes it very clear. He has also said he was impressed with Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged when he was young. If he read her when I did in late high school that makes sense. He also said he later could not agree with her philosophy and preferred Thomas Aquinas. Someone has to bring the truth of this economy to the people who think it can’t “really” go broke because Obama keeps giving free stuff away. Who was it who said …and beggars would ride like kings? And much as I love the USCCB, they have to get over the idea that government dole is a good thing.

  38. T Shaw,
    I will work on being as forgiving as you. While I don’t fault the bishops for getting much of their economic reasoning wrong (for the reason you suggest), I do fault them for weighing in so confidently on something they know so little about. I’m a world class “I don’t know” guy. I am not afraid to share opinions, but only on matters that I have studied sufficiently to warrant sufficient confidence. The Bishops’ economics pastoral was embarrassing and smacked of unwarranted hubris.

  39. MP: I have observed that ignorance is closely associated with arrogance/hubris. The arrogant don’t know that they don’t know. In Greek tragedies, hubris was the formulaic, fatal flaw that brought down the great man.

    When I was in school, I was taught (once I was thinking instead of drinking) that tragedies had unhappy endings while comedies had happy endings.

    If Obama is re-elected America will be a tragedy.

    PV: Probably because Ryan has no executive experience. He didn’t catch on in the primaries.

    Ryan drove the Oscar Meyer wienermobile then was elected to Congress.

    Barry Soetoro led the choom gang; went to Columbia and Yale, but can’t show we the people any transcripts; enlisted in the class war with ACORN; and lied his way into the Senate from fiscally and morally bankrupt Illinois.

    We now are experiencing how horrid can be a president that never had a real job.

    Can you explain why Obama is running from Soetoro? Why he felt the need to lie under oath? Why is he ashamed of it?

  40. “Probably because Ryan has no executive experience. He didn’t catch on in the primaries.”
    John F. Kennedy was a senator who had no executive experience.
    I believe that the USCCB are bishops begging for our tax dollars back from the government, casting themselves as disenfranchised second class citizens, to whom the government responds with contempt. Right now, neither they, nor anyone has any choice as the government has dictated that money be extorted for public entitlements.
    Why do the bishops believe that the poor will be worse off with Paul Ryan? If the people will be free of buying reckless, useless and damaging entitlements there will be more for the poor.

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